Business 11 July 2018Ed Drake
Irish court hands over alleged Silk Road conspirator to US feds
An Irish man accused of contributing to dark web Silk Road has been passed to U.S. authorities pending extradition, after agreeing to a deal with prosecutors this week.
Gary Davis, formerly of Bitcoin.com and a notable figure in the cryptocurrency community, agreed to be extradited to the United States from his native Ireland, over charges relating to the illicit dark web marketplace, news.bitcoin.com reported.
Upon arrival in the U.S., Davis can expect to be charged with a number of offences relating to his alleged involvement in Silk Road, which could carry a life sentence.
Often cited as a demonstration of cryptocurrency as peer-to-peer cash, the Silk Road marketplace has become notorious—not least for the conviction of its founder, Ross Ulbricht, who was sentenced to life in prison without parole, in a decision recently upheld by the Supreme Court of the United States.
Now, with Davis facing the same fate, some influential figures in the Bitcoin community are speaking out.
Roger Ver, CEO of Bitcoin.com, made an impassioned appeal to logic on his personal YouTube channel, where he called out several concerning developments in recent weeks. Aside from the unsuccessful Ulbricht appeal, Ver also highlighted the concerning issue of Davis’ extradition.
Davis fought the extradition due to his Asperger’s syndrome spectrum, saying the care he would receive in the U.S. would be insufficient to cater to his needs.
The culmination of a four-year legal battle, Davis still has one route left—a challenge to the European Court of Human Rights. However, after losing his latest challenge in the domestic courts 5-0, Davis has thus far declined to pursue his final appeal, which is equivalent to accepting the terms of the extradition sought by the U.S. authorities.
One judge did acknowledge his real concerns over Davis’s being imprisoned in the U.S., and the isolation this would like cause from his family, telling Davis that the court “in no way seek to diminish or trivialise the very real concerns and worries of the appellant and his family as he faces the prospect of extradition to the United States and being imprisoned there. Such a prospect would be daunting for an individual in robust mental health let alone someone coping with a significant mental health condition.”
Davis argued that the entire case was based on mistaken identity, and that he had no involvement at all in Silk Road. But with the matter now appearing to be settled, it looks like Davis will be swept up by the justice system in a country he has never visited, thousands of miles from his home.
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